According to new data from research firm IDC, users in Asian emerging markets are increasingly turning to tablets to make voice calls. The firm said that close to 50 percent of all tablets (touchscreen gadgets with screens bigger than 7 inches) in some markets are shipping with voice-calling capabilities.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have hacked into a live, networked traffic-signal system, showing how lax security can imperil any embedded systems. According to a paper written by the group, they discovered several vulnerabilities in the system's wireless network and its traffic-light controller, which enabled the researchers to alter the state of traffic lights on command.
Consumer demand for both wearables and in-home devices equipped with sensor nodes and wireless links is expected to ramp up substantially throughout the rest of this decade, expanding the reach of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), according to separate reports from ABI Research and Accenture Interactive's Acquity Group.
Startup OnBeep plans to launch a wearable product late this year that uses push-to-talk technology but can be paired with a smartphone to work across any network technology. The purpose of the product, which does not yet have a name, will be to enable hands-free, real-time group communication, according to CEO Jesse Robbins.
The streaming-device market is looking pretty saturated right now, but there are still more device announcements to come. Sony said it will debut its PlayStation TV device on Oct. 14 in North America. And Google is still working on its Android TV platform, which will run on smart TVs--it hasn't announced a release date yet. But according to analysts, neither of these products is going to shake up the streaming market.
In its quest to gain regulatory approval for its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable, Comcast has drawn the map wide in terms of defining its realm of competition. But advocacy blog Consumerist has done some interesting tire-kicking on the notion that Comcast's video and broadband services are in any way competing with the mobile broadband services offered by wireless companies.
Moving ever closer to completely dominating the smart TV market, Roku has announced that TV sets with its integrated streaming technology will soon hit stores with highly competitive price points.
Former Charter Communications executive Ted Schremp's SmartHome Ventures has announced a new retail-focused home-automation platform designed to compete with services offered by top pay-TV providers.
BlackBerry launched a new business unit to manage its patent portfolio and combine some of its top technologies. The unit, which will called BlackBerry Technology Solutions, or BTS, includes its QNX software for embedded wireless systems, its "Project Ion" Internet of Things application platform, Certicom cryptography applications and Paratek RF antenna tuning.
Intel's acquisition of LSI's Axxia Networking Business, a provider of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for network infrastructure, will be a crucial driver in the development of Intel's wireless-access-networking strategy and its long-term goal of running critical network workloads on a single architecture, said Rose Schooler, general manager of Intel's communications-infrastructure division.